How Do You Write?

How Do You Write?When I write, I must focus on one thing at a time. The same goes for when I am submitting stories—I submit one at a time, reworking it if it’s rejected, and on and on until it either gets published, or I find myself pulled into trying a different story.

If I am writing for work, I have to start and complete one writing task at a time. This way, I can focus all of my attention on perfecting my piece, however frustrating that may become. As soon as I have a task, ideas flock to me, it just comes down to sorting them into what is actually good and what is not. And believe me, I have bad ideas too.

If I am writing for personal pleasure, I do the same. I focus on what I want to accomplish, and continue to do so until I am pleased with it. I find that lending my brain to more than one story leaves too much room for error. When I run into a problem, I stop and ponder it until I have it figured out, and then I will eventually take up my pen once again. I suppose, for me, it makes for longer writing because I first write a story in my head, and then move it onto a screen (or sometimes paper, if necessary). That can mean waiting months to figure out a problem before getting back to writing the story again.

I know that some people set goals for themselves, such as to write a certain number of words or pages a day, or to have a piece done by a certain date. Goals like those can force you to write, and to push your boundaries, but for me, they lead to a lesser piece of work. If I am not given the time I need to write something the way that I think it should be, it will never be the best that I could do.

I may have various stories twirling about in my head at any time, but I write one, then move to another. I know that many of you work on more than one at a time, and to be honest it quite baffles me. But, to each their own.

I want to know how you write. How do stories come to you? Are you like me, where ideas just appear, branching off of each other until you have the ultimate tale? I tend to stew over things for a long time when it comes to writing, then when I have my idea, it pours out effortlessly for the most part. Of course, like I said, there are times where I reach problems, and I take time to work them out, but once I have them decided, the rest is generally quite simple.

How many pieces do you have going right now? Does it help or hinder the quality?

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33 thoughts on “How Do You Write?

  1. My process is similar to yours, with a twist. Between work, kids, carpools and activities, a set writing time is near impossible unless I want to start getting up at 4:30 am (which I’ve done before). Instead I tackle my work in progress in spurts. Carpool downtime? I write. Dentist office waiting room? I write. Kids driving me bonkers and I need to escape? I lock myself in my bedroom and… sometimes watch project runway, but most of the time I write. When I hit a problem, I set my story aside and mentally work through the problem, like you. But I also start working on a shorter piece in the meantime. I currently have one big writing project – a YA novel, one that is in deep revisions – a early reader chapter book, 3 stories that are being formed in my head and about a dozen shorter works that are ready for submission (picture books and short stories).

    • I’m sure that mine will change if we ever decide to have children, but right now the animals don’t really interfere much! 🙂 Good on you for finding time amidst the chaos, instead of letting your writing fall behind.

  2. Wow, this is not an easy question to answer. I guess I write as much as I can, when I can. I try to focus on one project at a time as well, though sometimes it doesn’t work out for me that way. And I try to get things done sooner rather than later. And as where my ideas come from…I guess they come from everywhere and anywhere. Today I had an idea for a short story while sitting waiting for class to start. My mind wandered, and something popped in. First chance I get, I’m writing said idea down so I won’t forget.

  3. I write pretty weirdly…I basically force myself a daydream and write then of course I revise…a lot. I also write about 5-6 stories at a time so that when I get tired of one story, or it starts to go down hill, I can go to another story then, continue on that one with a fresh mind.

  4. I tend to focus on one project at a time as well. I like the feeling of continuity and I know it would just stress me out if I tried to work on something else when an existing piece of work sat unfinished!

  5. I carry words around in my head for quite some time before even coming to the page. I have become more consistent and disciplined in my writing, where before I would write in concentrated bursts of creativity and then long periods of nothing. I feel better about my writing now that I focus on it daily.

  6. Ideas are strange. They’re like manning a store. At times you get way too many ideas knocking on your door willing to buy your attention. Other times you’re hanging around waiting for ideas to pass by, and the few that do you cannot seduce.

  7. Hmm… Kind of embarrassingly, I first thought of my idea as a movie trailer. I thought, “Oh, that sounds cool!” and then I started writing. Needless to say it was terrible and I didn’t get very far. i started another draft which is a lot better I hope, although it still needs a lot of work.

    As for how I write, I generally just make it up as I go along, but I’ve tried to plan it a bit more. However I’ve recently got myself into a bit of a rut. Thinking that maybe I could join NaNoWriMo 2014 to kickstart my novel again. 🙂

  8. Oh wow, I have far too many part-written stories going on right now to even count. The good thing is that I am currently working on a joint project with another writer and that is helping to keep my focused on one project for the time being.

    I have many scenes that I have written that may one day find themselves in a longer piece, but I tend to just write what comes into my head on any given day. Perhaps if I had more structure I’d have a greater chance of getting something published….

      • I do try, as much as possible, to keep a spreadsheet with details of stories that I have part written with a brief overview of what they’re about. Sometimes I may use one as a basis for answering a story prompt, so it’s always handy to have them there ready and waiting should what I’ve already written fit well with a prompt.

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